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Wind turbine proposals thrown out

Wind turbine applications at Felkington and Wark have been rejected by Northumberland County Council’s planning and environment committee.

Councillors went along with officer recommendation to refuse plans for a pair of 34.5m-tall wind turbines at Felkington Farm, near Norham.

They then went against officer opinion to reject plans for a 47m-tall wind turbine at Wark Common.

The Felkington scheme, a commercial venture to export electricity to the National Grid, was turned down because of the impact it would have on the nearby Duddo Stones and local residents.

Officers had initially recommended approval of the application but changed their minds following a site visit and after taking into consideration the strong objection of Duddo Parish Council and the recent approval on appeal of a 74m-tall turbine at Shoreswood.

John Dowsett, principal planning officer, said the Felkington turbines, together with the Shoreswood mast, would collectively lead to an impact of ‘substantial harm’ to the setting of the stones.

At Wark, officers had recommended approval of a turbine for Straker-Smith Farms along with a temporary lattice steel met mast to measure wind speeds for up to two years. It was a new application following the quashing of permission for a 71m turbine at judicial review last year.

Although the proposed turbine was much smaller members heard concerns from Carham and Cornhill parish councils and 21 residents about the adverse impact on the landscape, residents and tourism.

Coun Anthony Murray said: “I spoke against the application after seeing the photo-montages of how it would look. There was a lot of local concern about it.”